“Let the lines be free” – About the drawings by Myriam Beltz
The exclusive notebook edition series by Myriam Beltz is now available. We asked the artist in conversation what her lines are all about, how her drawings are created and what the concept behind her notebook edition is.
Myriam Beltz’s practice of drawing grew from her diary-keeping, and from her handwriting. Every day, the artist would write down her thoughts in her notebook. And at a certain point, rather than the words themselves, only the curved lines remained. For 5 years now, the artist has been composing her ‘Daily Drawings’ – a drawing for each and every day, a fixed routine. Her drawings are condensed into lines - lines as far as the eye can see. According to the artist, these lines should run free; they shouldn’t have to outline any specific form, they don’t have to serve as a specific shape, they don’t need to be attributed to anything, they may, and should simply … be.
Myriam Beltz tries to draw without any fixed goals or objectives, without intention. Her artistic process should take place away from any determination or purpose, and be more of an allowance, a feeling. For her, drawing means documenting the life of a line. And should not come from the head, but from the heart. For the artist, the movement of the hand is directly connected to the subconscious, the soul. The pictures thus paint themselves, so to speak. “It works well, as long as you don't understand what you are doing”, says Beltz, “as soon as you know what you are drawing, you have to stop”. Before the artist applies pencil to paper, she doesn’t yet know what the content of her drawing will be. Drawing is not the fulfilment of an idea that has already been preconceived in her head, but seeking & discovering by doing, letting herself be guided, having an inherent a trust in what may come. Only during the process of creation itself does the picture develop, and the artist waits, full of anticipation, for the lines that will appear on the page.
Whilst drawing, she is not of this world, the artist describes her creative process as coming to a state of complete calm: a little like meditating. For Beltz, drawing means following an inner urge. She understands this artistic process to be working towards a kind of primal line, an image that one carries within oneself as an artist, and which one approaches again and again, piece by piece. Line follows line follows line – and there is no end in sight.
What Beltz appreciates most about drawing is its directness. The medium, which is as old as humanity itself, is linked to a desire to articulate oneself directly. Nothing can be hidden away or corrected here. Drawing takes no detours. Once a line has been drawn, it lasts.
Initially, Beltz worked mainly figuratively, but over time her formal language became more and more abstract, and delicate. For her nuuna Art edition, the artist has chosen motifs that cover both - figures and pure lines (dots are also nothing more than short lines, according to Beltz). "Lines", "Dots", and "Friends" are the titles of these books: according to Beltz, all that she needs in order to be happy. With the lines and dots on the cover, the artist playfully addresses the theme of the notebooks’ dot grid. And while the inside of the notebooks are standardized, where each page looks exactly the same as the next, her lines and dots are visibly man-made. Each line is slightly different from the next, each dot deviates just minimally from its neighbour, each trace is individual. A humorous homage to drawing by hand. What could be better suited to an analogue notebook?
The notebooks of the "Myriam Beltz for nuuna" series are bound in vegan jeans-label material; the drawings have been screen-printed onto the covers. Inside: our favourite premium paper with a practical dot grid.
Find out more about Myriam Beltz' drawings on her instagram page.